EPA media blackout incites viral, rebellious social media response

Supporters of the Environmental Protection Agency recently launched a form of academic assault on President Donald Trump’s claims against climate change as backlash against the censorship enacted during his first week in office.

Trump’s administration has, “instituted a media blackout at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, removed references to climate change on the White House website and posted an energy plan that calls for increasing our use of fossil fuels,” according to CNN.

Global warming activity has been highlighted in scientific research, and is widely considered to be factual by scientific experts. Trump, on the other hand, publicly denounces climate change and hopes that the use of fossil fuels will “Make America Great Again.” 

The use of fossil fuels, however, has put the future of the Earth in jeopardy. The actions committed by Trump that ignore climate change have inspired a backlash in the scientific community—one that utilizes direct discourse with the public.

Through Twitter, scientists, celebrities, journalists and students recently tweeted the hashtag “#ClimateFacts” to promote awareness about climate change. Some environmental agencies have even gone rogue and posted about climate change in direct opposition to Trump’s implementation of a blackout of EPA social media accounts.

The official Badlands National Park’s Twitter account was compromised by a vigilante attempting to post about climate change amid the crisis. The posts were deleted due to claims from the National Park Service that a “former employee” was not “currently authorized to use the park’s account,” according to CNN. 

The Park Service claimed they censored the posts due to the account having been compromised and that they will continue to post about safety and park information while staying away from national policy issues. 

Park information and safety, however, is far from comparable to the intent of the compromised account’s rebellious climate change tweets. Following Trump’s censorship of the social media accounts, this does not help to sustain the future for our parks and ecosystems. 

It seems that there is a bias surrounding the “legitimacy” of a press conference versus the conversations had on social media. The argument arises regarding the necessary tools used to portray information to the public. Should we have a serious political discourse on social media outlets like Twitter or Facebook? 

Some might counter and say that unless the information is verified and scheduled in an academic or governmental setting, then it’s unlikely that we will find accurate information from those involved on social media. We’re supposed to be content with reading news articles, rather than actively communicating with politicians via Twitter.

The beauty of social media resides in its availability to millions of people—not just the ones that seek out articles on their own. Not only can one see what one has subscribed to on social media, one can see what his friends have liked, shared and retweeted. This expands the horizon of an individual’s views and interests simply by seeing what their friends are up to. 

The usage of social media and environmental politics should be a way to inform the public on the state of climate change. Blacking out discourse on climate change—which the Trump administration is shamelessly advocating for—is unforgivable. 

Climate change is happening, no matter how hard the government tries to conceal it.